The Rebel Yell

This week we present a guest post, written by one of the members of the AHA, Benjamin Hawkins. Hopefully, this will be the first of many guest posts. Enjoy.

The Rebel Yell. by Benjamin Hawkins

Drums, trumpets, bugles, bagpipes, and human voice. These are instruments that have been used in times of war and passion to excite allies and frighten foes. Their use has extended from Biblical tales to the modern day and encompasses a very large number of nations and cultures. Today, I shall inform you of one force’s use of the human voice to create a cry so terrible and profound that its fervor echoes still a century later. I speak of the famous rebel yell of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War of 1861-1865.

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Striking in Ringen, Part I

The unarmed martial arts shown in the various fight-manuals of the middle-ages are grappling-centric, as opposed to striking-centric. What I mean by this is that these manuals primarily use grappling techniques, however this is not to say that they did not utilise any striking techniques. Ringen, the unarmed component of KDF, is normally translated as wrestling, or grappling, but both these words imply an art without striking to a modern audience, which is misleading. Similarly, the word boxing implies to a modern audience an art consisting entirely of striking, but grappling and throwing the opponent was allowed in boxing until the introduction of the Marquess of Queensbury rules in 1867.

Hopefully, most people in the HEMA community are aware that striking was used in ringen, and in the other unarmed martial arts of medieval and Renaissance Europe, so hopefully this article won’t be changing too many people’s opinions. Nor am I interested in explaining why they were grappling-centric, as these arguments have already been made (see Jeffrey Hull’s Getting Punchy1 for example). I am simply interested in cataloguing which striking techniques exist in the manuals and where they can be found.

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Barbarians in the Mediterranean

How important was Arianism to Barbarian Identity, and Why?

For historians, the religion held by a cultural group is often of the utmost importance in divining cultural values and facets of lifestyle within the group. Within groups as ethnically and culturally as diverse as the barbarian tribes of the fourth century Mediterranean, shared religion can often be a means of inclusion. With the barbarians however, there is a very real danger that this means of inclusion is being used only by outsiders-by the Romans identifying the barbarians as The Other and by modern day historians as an arbitrary means of grouping. Barbarian groups also largely ‘perpetuated their identity over large periods of time’ this means that in many respects their identity is compiled of incongruous concepts and lacks coherence.

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